Inhabitants of the land-locked country in Central Asia known as Afghanistan.
Inhabitants of the low-lying country on the north of the Bay of Bengal, now known as Bangladesh. Essentially the last stronghold of Buddhism.
An ethnic group in southern Yunnan Province, China: they are mentioned by Marco Polo for having teeth of gold.
A barbarian steppe people from Manchuria formerly known as the Jurchen, who established a dynasty bearing their name in N. China until the Mongol conquest.
Ethnic Chinese. Also the name of a Chinese dynasty that lasted from 206 B.C.E. to 220 A.D.
A dynasty in N. China formed by the Khitan people; it ruled from 907 (the collapse of the T'ang) to 1125 AD, when it was succeeded by the Jin Dynasty.
People from the region of Manchuria, a forested and mountainous steppe northeast of China.
A confederacy in central India that arose in revolt against the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb and remained in power until the British invasion of India.
A people in central India that the Mughals conquered, renowned for their horses, which had extremely sensitive ears and good battlefield capabilities.
A Chinese Dynasty: they overthrew the Mongol Yuan Dynasty in 1368 under the leadership of a peasant and sent treasure fleets bearing silk, jade, porcelain, and tribute to and from ports throughout Asia, Arabia, and Africa.
A steppe people north of China that formed loose confederations under powerful leaders; they would conquer most of the Asian world under the leadership of Temujin (Genghis Khan) and his successors.
Inhabitants of present-day Iran, a country located on the north coast of the Indian Ocean with a shore on the Caspian Sea. the Mughals descended from them, and lots of Mughal technology is of Persian influence.
Inhabitants of the region of Punjab, a swathe of territory in northeast Pakistan and northwest India with the Indus and four other major rivers running through it. They live at the foot of the kyhber pass.
Inhabitants of Rajasthan: renowned for their ferocity and skill in battle, they saw themselves as the princes of India. Inhabited the desert of north India.
A dynasty in China that ultimately succeeded the T'ang; they fought wars against the Jin and then the Mongols. The Mongols finally conquered their last stronghold in S. China in 1279.
A dynasty that ruled over an expanded Chinese empire that stretched far into C. Asia. Their time (618-907) was viewed by subsequent dynasties as a golden age, but imperial politics was mired in factional squabbles and succession struggles.
Tangut (Hsi Hsia)
A nomadic group in Central North China, one of the last to be conquered by Genghis Khan personally. Genghis may have died in battle against them or been assassinated by a princess from these people.
Eastern Turkic peoples that were conquered by the Mongols; they would go on to conquer much of Russia. Inhabited area between gobi desert and Manchuria, therefore they were adapted to life in the first and mountains as well as the desert.
Inhabitants of the kingdom of Tibet, a high plateau with the Himalayan mountain range on it.
Also called the Rus', they were originally from Scandinavia but had established settlements along key Russian rivers and traded regularly with Constantinople and the Near East. Eventually, after intermarriage with the native Slavs, their descendants would become the Russians.
The languages of Northern Africa, which had commonalities with languages spoken in West Asia.
A people of central Ethiopia, and/or the language spoken by those people.
The dominant ethnic group in sub-Saharan Africa; originally from Nigeria.
The lingua franca of East Africa, formed by Bantu integration with the native peoples there.
peoples and/or languages who lived along the southern Nile or in the Sahara desert (ex: Ethiopians, Amharic peoples)
A diminutive and vanishing people with a language of clicks; the original inhabitants of the Congo Basin.
Honey-colored people native to southern Africa, forced out of most of their land by the Bantu in recent centuries. The last tribes live in the Kalahari Desert and resist government attempts to civilize them.
A broad rainforest region that surrounds the Congo River and encompasses most of Central "Deep" Africa.
The location of the greatest desert in Southern Africa.
The longest river in the world, its course is interrupted by many cataracts and its source is in Africa's Great Lakes region.
The largest desert in the world (bigger than the United States), it covers interior northern Africa and almost completely prohibits large-scale communication between the coast of northern Africa and southern Africa.
Anywhere in Africa below the Sahara desert. Its religions, customs, languages, and people are very different from North Africa.
The southeast coast of Africa from the "Horn of Africa" south.
An island of the coast of Tanzania, a major regional trading port.
Abraham Bin Yiju
A Jewish trader in the employ of an Aden merchant; he married a Nair Indian woman. His letters, which give us insight into 12th-century Indian Ocean trade, were preserved in the Cairo Geniza by his daughter.
Akbar the Great
The greatest Mughal emperor, he built a massive new capital at Fatehpur Sikri and defeated the Rajputs in the siege of Chittorgarh. He often married women from different parts of the world to please his enemies.he was very tolerant of religion and undstanding world religion was very important to him.
One of the few truly "evil" leaders in history; he was a Mughal emperor who blinded his father and campaigned far into the south of India before rebellions against his overly harsh rule and overextension of mughal armies and supplies stopped him and effectively ended the Mughal Empire.
Babur the Tiger
An Afghan warlord and descendant of Genghis Khan who founded the Mughal Empire and captured Delhi through brilliant strategy.
Also known as Temujin, his name means "supreme ruler." He led the Mongols to conquer much of the known world.
Arguably the greatest traveler ever, he visited dozens of countries throughout the Islamic, African, and Asian world and wrote about his travels.
An official at the court of the Caliph in Baghdad who traveled through central Asia to meet with the nomad leader Almish to discuss an alliance.
Grandson of Temujin, he completed the conquest of China, which he ruled as the Yuan Dynasty until his death in 1294. He received the Polo family graciously and in exchange they praised him to the world.
"The Master Translator." He was a Buddhist monk who translated many Buddhist texts into Chinese and ended the "Dark Learning period" in Chinese history.
The official historian of a Ming treasure fleet, he sailed under Zheng He and recorded the fleet's voyage throughout the Indian Ocean.
A Venetian merchant who traveled with his father and uncle to the court of Khubilai Khan, was supposedly made governor of a Chinese city, and returned after twenty years with riches and great tales about the lands he had seen. He was taken prisoner during a war between Venice and its rivals and told his cellmate stories of his journeys, who wrote them down as Il Milione.
A ruler of the Mongol Empire from 1251 to 1259, he expanded the empire greatly and conquered Korea, parts of China and south Asia, and much of the Middle East.
The first Ming emperor, he was a peasant who distrusted the Confucian officials who governed China. He led the revolt that drove the Mongols out of China. The first peasant man to rule china. His character and ideals greatly inflicted china and it's relationships with the outside world.
Successor to Ming Hongwu, he greatly expanded the Treasure Fleets and built the Forbidden City palace complex in Beijing.
A Mughal emperor who built the Taj Mahal as a tomb for his beloved wife. He also built the priceless peacock throne.
The Grand Eunuch, admiral of the Treasure Fleets.
Widely believed to be the finest steel in the world, the Mughals used it for just about everything.
Dual Administration System
Mongol or Central Asian officials would cooperate with a native Chinese Confucian official to govern a region in China.
Armor made in a plate-mail design: sheets of plate armor were connected with mail rings. Entire villages were tasked with making the armor.
Akbar's new capital, larger than London and built on a desert plateau so that rebellious officials could not leave. Revolutionary use of Persian water wheels as desert irrigation.
Begun by the Sui dynasty in the 7th century, it served to connect the Yangtse and Yellow Rivers by the time of Khubilai Khan.
Begun by the Qin Dynasty and continued by the Han, it reached its present scale and size under the Ming, who were terrified of a Mongol invasion from the north.
A Rajput stabbing-knife; the Mughals liked it so much that they incorporated it into their army.
Primitive firearms; perfected by Mughal artisans. They were prized because of their durability, mass production methods, and because they required little training.
The Emperor Ming Hongwu instituted a series of changes intended to benefit the Chinese peasants at the expense of the wealthy merchants and ruling class. He intended to engage with the outside world (tributary system, treasure fleets)
Seasonal winds and storms in the Indian Ocean; one blows ships from west to east, the other from east to west. Traders learned to time their voyages to coincide with favorable winds.
Built by Shah Jahan, it weighed one ton in gold and was covered with precious jewels; today it would be worth $1 billion.
Robes of Honor
Silk robes presented by kings that identified the giver as a man of great power and dignity; they were also used to conclude alliances between kingdoms.
A code used by Babur to inspire loyalty among his followers who were not from his family or household.
The trans-national Buddhist community, it mainly was used to describe a network of monasteries and temples along trade routes.
Shah Jahan's "love story in white marble," called by some the most beautiful building in the world.
Tribute (Chinese Tributary System)
A system under which Chinese treasure fleets were sent out to collect tribute, or gifts, from smaller Asian kingdoms. These kingdoms would then be reciprocated with objects of far greater value, which would enhance Chinese influence throughout the region.
The Islamic community of believers, with the Caliph as its political and religious head.
A landlocked country in central Asia, fought over for centuries. (Hint: We're fighting there too...)
An important regional trading center in Central Asia, razed to the ground by the Mongols; when Marco Polo got there only a few ruins were left.
The capital of China, founded by the Mongols.
A small, low-lying country to the east of India, with extremely fertile land; now called Bangladesh.
A sea connected to the Mediterranean by the Bosphorus strait; it is bordered by Ukraine, Russia, and Turkey, among other countries.
One of the greatest caravan cities in the world, located in Central Asia on the Silk Road.
Actually the largest lake in the world.
A coastal state in southern Vietnam; the Chinese had a trading relationship with it.
A city and fort in Rajasthan where Akbar sieged and ultimately defeated the Rajputs, first by building a hill to position his cannon better, then by attempting to mine the walls.
A high plateau in central India.
The Mughal and current-day capital of India, conquered by Babur.located in between the Indus and Ganges rivers. Extemely wealthy city to this day and rich with diamonds.
A desert in North China that extends deep into Mongolia.
A city and fort in central India that fought against Aurangzeb, and was finally lost through treachery.
The Song capital in central China.
In Persian, "land of the Hindus:" India.
A city in southern Persia, on the edge of the strait that bears its name. Marco Polo almost took a ship to China here but decided that the ships weren't seaworthy.
Indus River Valley
A river valley in Pakistan.
Irrawaddy River Valley
A river valley in Burma.
One of the main islands in Indonesia, Jakarta is located here. Huge trading island (coffee, tin,etc.) the song moved there and created a population of "overseas Chinese" there, largening chinas sphere of influence.
A port on the southwest coast of India. The Chinese treasure fleets stayed here.
The northern Mongol capital, in present-day Mongolia.
A pass that links present-day Afghanistan and Pakistan, used by many invaders of India.
A port on the west side of the straits that bear its name, on the west coast of the Malay Peninsula.
A peninsula that extends out from Southeast Asia into the Indian Ocean.
A forested and mountainous steppe to the northeast of China.
An important Chinese city, it was the capital of Ming China until 1421, when the capital was relocated to the Forbidden City.
A mountain range in Central Asia, to the west of the Taklamakan Desert; Marco Polo journeyed over them.
Plain of the Ganges
A low-lying and fertile region in northern India; Delhi is in the center of it. Where the Hindus lived.
In Persian, land of the Rajputs.
The Mongol southern capital: Khubilai received the Polos there and Marco was struck by its luxury.
A basin in the south of China.
One of the main islands of Indonesia, it had a substantial Chinese community by the time of the treasure fleets.
The name means something like "go in and you won't come out." Marco skirted its southern rim.
A Byzantine port in present-day eastern Turkey- for Europeans, almost the edge of the known world.
A river that runs through southern Russia and empties in a broad delta into the Caspian Sea near the city of Astrakhan.
A pass through the Pamir Mountains that Marco traveled through.
A Song city in southern China that held out against the Mongols until 1271. The Polos are alleged to have helped in the siege of the city,but Marco's dates are off by several years.
Yangtse River Valley
A river valley in central China.
A coastal city in central China; Marco Polo claims to have governed it.
Yellow River Valley
A river valley in northern China.
A province in southeastern China with many ethnic minorities, some of whom eat raw pork.
A sworn allegiance to a leader or chieftain.
"Blood Brotherhood"- fealty.
"colored eyes"- Central Asians or Europeans used by Khubilai as administrators in China.
Plunder distributed by the leader of a nomadic warband; Genghis Khan would take only as much as the least of his soldiers.
"Tens": a Mongol unit of troops that made for impressive discipline and organization in battle.
Horses, Donkeys, Goats, Camels, Sheep
The household or entourage of a nomadic chieftain.
An alcoholic beverage made from fermented mare's milk. When an oath of Nokr was made, the participants' blood and gold dust would be mixed in as well.
Important Mughal technology
swords, cannons, war elephants and horses, rockets
A piece of mughal war technology that was deadly accurate, extremely quick, and very powerful. It was made of all natural materials.
Symbolized their occupation of a new territory.